And here I am, back again, later than expected but safe and sound..
I was away overnight. A good friend of Beth's got married yesterday and Beth was a bridesmaid. Alex was asked along too, of course, and because he needs someone to make sure he's OK, I was also invited, which was very nice as I know the bride via Beth but am not a friend or anything.
Beth drove to Suffolk on Friday (straight along on the A12 most of the way, couldn't be easier). She'd booked a family room in the Premier Inn , just outside Ipswich. I picked Al up from school on Friday evening and we travelled on Saturday morning.
Now,. I'm not a dreadful driver but I am not so confident when I don't know the terrain, so to speak. I worried a bit about finding the hotel (which turned out to be easy peasy), a bit about getting from the hotel to the church (which was fine), getting from the church to the reception (good instructions given on the order of service - how sensible - and road signs, so not too bad) and from the reception back to the hotel along country roads in the middle of the night (bit of a nightmare really). By then I had Beth with me and she was brilliant, finding the route and telling me where to go (nicely), even when we lost our way - thank you, honey!. The trouble is, my night vision really isn't as good as it used to be and I do avoid driving at night unless I know the route really well. So, even with Beth's help, it was a bit of a nightmare really and I was so glad when we were safely on the A14 again. I could feel the tension all down my back and arms and today my shoulders, arms and back ache something chronic. Serves me right for being such a wimp!
Something that did make me laugh though. Getting from the church to the reception was a drive of about 30 minutes. Great instructions (and thank you, Alex, for reading them all out to me at the appropriate times as we drove along) but I took it carefully and at a speed I felt OK with. It wasn't long before I had a convoy of about six or seven cars behind me: a bit embarrassing really but I refused to be pressured into driving any faster. As we took turnings and so on, I realised that they were all staying with me and that they must also be wedding guests, presumably relieved to have someone to follow as no-one attempted to overtake me. Talk about the blind leading the blind!
It was a lovely, homey, friendly wedding. The hotel room was OK, given that it wasn't all that expensive. A single bed, a double bed and a pull out trundle bed which Alex claimed as his! Good heating, a big wall telly, not loads of space but enough to be reasonable and a good hot water supply. The service was a wee bit tearful at times, starting when Beth paraded down the aisle on her own (I bet she hated that but it was effective and she looked so lovely I felt the tears start) and continuing through the vows (I'm just a softie) and the final procession out at the end.
The reception was beautiful but decidedly unposh and we had lovely, friendly people on our table. After the meal a band arrived and we had a sort of ceilidh. Well, Alex was in his element. He had a go at nearly every dance and showed himself to be quite a dancer.
And he slept well last night!
On the way home I stopped off at Sainsbury's to get some stuff in and then, as I was so close, popped into Hobbycraft. Well, it seemed silly not to really! And it *is* half term, isn't it? Yes, I did spend more of my voucher - I bought the afghan square book I thought I was getting previously but it turned out to be a different book. Oh, and a few balls of yarn. Can't go to Hobbycraft and not buy yarn!
And now I'm home. The yarn delivery arrived yesterday (I only ordered it on Friday!) and, very sensibly, they had stuffed it under the green box! So now I'm home, no planning, no school tomorrow, a bottle of Suffolk cider (sorry, 'cyder') beside me and the yarn to enable me to continue with my bed cover.
What more could I ask?
I have some photos of yesterday but haven't uploaded them yet so will post some when I do.